Sigma’s Holiday Season Gift Guide

Jack Howard

The days grow shorter and nights get longer. Yes, it’s that season once again, if you can believe it! Holiday Season 2012 is here! And here is our blog posting filled with ideas of great gear from Sigma for all the photographers (yourself included) on your list!

For photographers who want the ultimate image quality in a prime-lens compact camera

The Sigma DP1 Merrill and Sigma DP2 Merrill both boast the same APS-C Foveon sensor as the Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR in much more compact packages. While these are small cameras, the images are spectacular thanks to fast F2.8 primes, a 19mm F2.8 (28.5mm equiv) on the DP1M and a 30mm F2.8 (45mm F2.8 equiv) on the DP2M. These are the compact cameras for old-school purists who put exceptional image quality first. Check out this test shoot, and these field test shots for more on this amazing pair of cameras. And of course, the Sigma SD1 Merrill features the same sensor in a DSLR body compatible with over forty interchangable lenses!

Check out our great holiday season Instant Savings!

As you hunt for the perfect photographer’s gift, be sure to check out the fantastic Instant Savings on over 20 products in the Sigma line! From wide-angle to telephoto, we’ve got great deals through our authorized retail partners and direct from Sigma, too!

For the brand new parents

30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM is a fantastic lens for natural light photos of babies and young children. The fast maximum aperture gathers lots of light and lets you use faster shutter speeds without having to rely on strobes–just open the blinds a little bit and shoot wide open with this “new normal” lens for APS-C DSLRs, and the memories will be captured with gorgeously shallow depth of field.

For the photographer who wants to travel light and be ready for anything

The Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM is a 13.8 superzoom with Optical Stabilizer that can go from capturing wide angle landscapes to distant wildlife without skipping a beat. The Optical Stabilizer keeps shots sharp even at slower shutter speeds, so ditching the tripod doesn’t necessarily limit your creativity! For on-the-go family adventures, this lens is ready for just about anything. Check out Jack’s field test of this lens for image samples and hands-on tips! And special offer for the holiday season, you can pair it with our Sigma EF-610 DG ST Flash for a combined instant savings of $115 for even more versatility and creativity. Check it out here!

For the budding cinematographer

50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

HDSLR cinematography is exploding in popularity, and the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM is a super sharp fast aperture lens with great bokeh and lovely shallow depth of field for isolating the subject and softening the backgrounds. On full-frame HDSLRs, it is, of course, a classic, fast, normal prime lens. And on APS-C HDSLRs, it feels more like a short tele prime. Either way, it can make the feel of stills and videos captured have a timeless cinematic quality.

For the Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX owners

Sigma’s 30mm F2.8 EX DN and 19mm F2.8 EX DN are a pair of whisper-quiet prime lenses perfect for high-quality stills and HD video from compact interchangeable lens cameras in Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-Mount. These lenses have rounded aperture blades for pleasing bokeh, and telecentric design for edge to edge sharpness. These are pro-caliber lenses at exceptional prices. Read more about the tech behind the lenses here, and check out this hands-on blog with image samples from the 30mm F2.8 EX DN.

For the yearbook photographer and aspiring photojournalist

24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM / APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

This holiday season, here’s two great lens pairings for photographers on the go, whether it’s for the school yearbook, the college newspaper, or just your own photo adventures. The premium line pairs the 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM and the APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM for a constant F2.8 maximum aperture through a focal range that’s ready for just about any assignment.

On a bit of a tighter budget?  The 17-70 F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS covers an even a wider range of focal lengths in variable aperture OS zooms with a smaller price tag.

And check out this creativity combo package pairing the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM and the EF-610 DG ST Flash for a price that’s just amazing! Together, this powerful strobe and 13.8X zoom lens are ready for photo shoots indoors and out–from group portraits to youth sports action!

For the skaters, bmxers, and extreme sports crowd

Fisheye 10mm F2.8 EX DC HSM

Capturing skate ramp action photos of you and your friends is a very different beast than shooting from the sidelines during organized sports with a long telephoto lens. So much of it is DIY, and its much easier to get close when you are directing the action and working closely with the athletes. And for this kind of sports photography, ultrawides are a great way to go. The forced perspective and foreground exaggeration effects work great for this style of shooting. There’s a stable of rectilinear ultrawide zooms and a quartet of Fisheyes to choose from. And check out this blog posting for tips on working with ultrawide zoom lenses!

For the Birders

120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM

When it comes to wildlife and bird photography, Sigma has a great line of telephoto zooms. The Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM and 50-500mm F4.5-6.3-apo-dg-os-hsm are wildly popular long-reach zooms for making shots of avian subjects. Sigma Pro Robert O’Toole runs down the details of each lens in this blog posting. And don’t overlook the slightly smaller Sigma 120-400mm zoom for birds, either!  You can check out some amazing shots of small birds made with this great lens.

And of course, there’s the always popular “Sigmonster” 300-800mm F5.6 EX DG APO HSM that offers an amazing reach and range for wildlife shooters heading out on once-in-a-lifetime photo safaris.

For the Sports Photographers

120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

Sports photography from the sidelines requires long reach and a fast maximum aperture for freezing the action. For reach and versatility that’s unmatched, check out the 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM, which offers 300mm F2.8 prime performance in a constant aperture zoom. If tele primes are more your photographer’s speed, there’s three long, fast tele primes that are perfect for the sidelines (and the shorelines and bird blinds, too!) And of course, the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM and 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM are also both super-sharp tele zooms perfect for team and individuals sports–and both are offered with great Instant Savings throughout the holiday season this year!

For the explorer of tiny worlds

APO Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

If the photographer on your gift list doesn’t have a dedicated macro lens in their kit, they are missing out on really magnifying the details of tiny worlds! The Sigma line of  F2.8 1:1 macro primes is available in variety of focal lengths from 50mm to 180mm. Check out this blog posting exploring macro photography to see what these lenses bring to light!

And don’t forget about the Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash! This great macro ring flash  works with all of Sigma’s macro lenses–as well as macro lenses from other brands with compatible filter sizes! (55mm and 58mm adapter rings are included with the flash. 52mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm and 77mm adapters are sold separately.)

Everybody needs a little light sometimes!

Electronic Flash EF-610 DG Super / Electronic Flash EF-610 DG ST

Built-in strobes on DSLRs are of very limited use. They drain precious battery power, take forever and a day to recharge, and generally give snapshot-quality results. Sigma makes two powerful shoe-mount strobes that offer great feature sets and won’t break the bank. For point-and-shoot simplicity with big strobe flexibility, the EF-610 DG-ST Flash bounces and swivels for controlling the shape, direction and softness of the light at a price that’s pretty amazing! And the EF-610 DG Super Flash is a top of the line pro strobe with a rich feature set including high-speed strobing, wireless triggering, stroboscopic effects and much more for significantly less than its competitors.  For more on each of these strobes, click here.

Still not sure which lens is right for you? Check out our informative videos!

We’ve created a series of informative videos for almost every lens in our lineup to help photographers discover which Sigma lens is just right for them. Click on the Play the Video button whenever you see it on a product page to get a quick rundown of the key features and functions of each lens. You can also view all the videos in our video library.

Here, for example, we offer advise on great lenses for family photography.

And be sure to check out this great Accessories and Gadgets Gift Guide from Sigma Pro David Fitzsimmons!

Ad if you have any questions about the items on this list or need more advice on which lens is right for your photographer you can drop us a line at photoworld [AT] and we’ll try to help!

Published by

Jack Howard

Jack Howard is a lifelong photographer and author of two editions of the how-to book, Practical HDRI. Based in Central Jersey, Jack's go-to photography spots are backroads and beaches of his home state. He loves to travel far and wide with his wife and daughter, visiting national parks, museums, tropical islands and more along the way.

10 thoughts on “Sigma’s Holiday Season Gift Guide”

  1. Dear Santa,

    I would really really love an 8 – 16 UWA, not for any thing else, and i’ve been good all year, I would appreciate this a whole lot.

    Your friend,

  2. Hi Rhedd, make sure you are following us on Facebook and are signed up for our Newsletter. Can’t say much more than that right now, but you’ll definitely want to check back frequently in the next few weeks for a cool holiday thing we’re working on…

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